1911 Luton by-election

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Cecil Harmsworth of the Liberal Party narrowly won the by-election of 1911 in the constituency of Luton.


Thomas Ashton had been the Liberal MP here since 1895. Luton had been Liberal since the seat was created in 1885. He was raised to the peerage as Baron Ashton of Hyde, in the County of Chester, with a seat in the House of Lords.

Electoral history[edit]

Thomas Ashton
General election December 1910 Electorate 16,564
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Thomas Ashton 7,601 53.4 +0.5
Conservative John Owen Hickman 6,623 46.6 -0.5
Majority 6.8
Turnout 85.9
Liberal hold Swing +0.5


The new Liberal candidate selected to defend the seat was Cecil Harmsworth. He had been Liberal MP for Droitwich, Worcestershire until his defeat there in January 1910. The Conservatives re-selected John Owen Hickman, who had been their candidate last time.


Cecil Harmsworth
Luton by-election, 1911 Electorate 17,177
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Cecil Harmsworth 7,619 52.1 -1.3
Conservative John Owen Hickman 7,006 47.9 +1.3
Majority 613 4.2
Turnout 85.1
Liberal hold Swing -1.3


A General Election was due to take place by the end of 1915. By the autumn of 1914, the following candidates had been adopted to contest that election. Due to the outbreak of war, the election never took place.

General Election 1914/15 Electorate 19,199
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Cecil Harmsworth
General election 14 December 1918 Electorate 37,051
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal 13,501 69.4
Labour Willet Ball 5,964 30.6 n/a
Majority 7,537 38.8
Turnout 52.5
Liberal hold Swing
  • Harmsworth was the endorsed candidate of the Coalition Government.